This week is the one week all summer when my kids are in camp. It’s working, it’s going well which is a change from other summers. Incentives help to keep anxiety in check.
At the beginning of the week I had envisioned a week to myself, writing as much as possible. I am about thirty pages into something bigger and that’s great and I have been writing. But what happens to me is this: I’m great and busy when I’m needed which I am most of the time, but when I’m not, I fall down. It”s not that I’m a martyr, it’s not that I don’t find time for myself or do things often that are just for me. I do. Often I’m waiting for the phone to ring with bad news. I have trouble with hours to myself and then I get nothing accomplished and there is guilt.
This confession is coming from having just read Kerry Clare’s latest post over at Pickle Me This. At the heart of it, I should just write, I know. And I have. Over the years, all my years, I’ve written a lot. So many stories, so many starts to novels (I am going to finish this one). I took amazing writing classes at George Brown College when I lived in Toronto. Elizabeth Ruth taught them and I ended up in a private writing group with her and a few others she spoke to and we did this for years before I moved to Waterloo. I recently completed half of my classes for UofT’s Creative Writing Certificate and even got some Honours as final grades. I stopped taking the courses when I had to quit my job and be home with my son.
I’m not writing any of this to complain or to brag, it’s just my story. And the honest truth is that I am simply not the determined soul I wish I was. I blame my lack of whatever completely on myself – not on being a mother or a woman, not on anything other than maybe being lazy and maybe having too much self-doubt or just a lack of accountability. Sure I wonder what could have been writing-wise from time to time, but really only if I’d gotten my ass in the chair way, way more often than I did. And I’d rather look forward than back.
Some days I feel like as wannabe. I sit on the side-lines of the CanLit world admiring and following the authors, reading everything I can get my hands on. Who knows, who knows.
I am not going back to work any time soon. High school and middle school both start in September for us and there is no way of knowing how that will go. Plans I make fall through, others I have and look forward to (like signing up for Kerry Clare’s Blog School this fall!) I’m 43 and I have time (this week for sure!) to write, and her post came at a very good time.